Funding provided through contract HSHQDC-09-00037 to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.
Multiple Stable Isotope Characterization as a Forensic Tool to Distinguish Acid Scavenger Samples*
Article first published online: 15 NOV 2011
2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Published 2011. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the U.S.A.
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 57, Issue 1, pages 60–63, January 2012
How to Cite
Moran, J. J., Kreuzer, H. W., Carman, A. J., Wahl, J. H. and Duckworth, D. C. (2012), Multiple Stable Isotope Characterization as a Forensic Tool to Distinguish Acid Scavenger Samples. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57: 60–63. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01959.x
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 15 NOV 2011
- Received 17 Aug. 2010; and in revised form 13 Dec. 2010; accepted 27 Dec. 2010.
- forensic science;
- compound-specific isotope analysis;
- stable isotope;
- acid scavenger;
- nerve agent;
Abstract: Acid scavengers are frequently used as stabilizer compounds in a variety of applications. When used to stabilize volatile compounds such as nerve agents, the lower volatility and higher stability of acid scavengers make them more persistent in a post-event forensic setting. Compound-specific isotope analysis of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen in three acid-scavenging compounds (N,N-diethylaniline, tributylamine, and triethylamine) were used as a tool for distinguishing between different samples. Combined analysis of multiple isotopes improved sample resolution, for instance differentiation between triethylamine samples improved from 80% based on carbon alone to 96% when combining with additional isotope data. The compound-specific methods developed here can be applied to instances where these compounds are not pure, such as when mixed with an agent or when found as a residue. Effective sample matching can be crucial for linking compounds at multiple event sites or linking a supply inventory to an event.